Last gasps in Iraq
I supported this war, but the deteriorating situation is starting to convince me that we can’t win. Those of us who hoped that the Iraqis could achieve democracy were wrong — and their failure has implications for the entire region.Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki depends on Muqtada al-Sadr for his political power. The result is increasing bloodshed and chaos.
Iraq is failing. No honest observer can conclude otherwise. Even six months ago, there was hope. Now the chances for a democratic, unified Iraq are dwindling fast. The country's prime minister has thrown in his lot with al-Sadr, our mortal enemy. He has his eye on the future, and he's betting that we won't last. The police are less accountable than they were under Saddam. Our extensive investment in Iraqi law enforcement only produced death squads. Government ministers loot the country to strengthen their own factions. Even Iraq's elections — a worthy experiment — further divided Iraq along confessional and ethnic lines. Iraq still exists on the maps, but in reality it's gone. Only a military coup — which might come in the next few years — could hold the artificial country together.Like many war supporters Peters blames Rumsfeld and the Bush administration for the failure.
This chaos wasn't inevitable. While in Iraq late last winter, I remained soberly hopeful. Since then, the strength of will of our opponents — their readiness to pay any price and go to any length to win — has eclipsed our own. The valor of our enemies never surpassed that of our troops, but it far exceeded the fair-weather courage of the Bush administration.I suspect the chaos was inevitable once Saddam was over thrown. The only thing that could hold the artificial country together was a tyrant.